Some Notions

The premier journal of http://clinomania.blogspot.com criticism.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

In Small Things Forgotten 

Readers, apologies for our long delay. We speculated that increasing tumult of work and worry would cause us to be much harried in our attempts to maintain criticism, which is worthless if not done at the highest of levels, and the result soon proved the correctness of this surmise.

But the Latin maxim, which, translated, reads "the engines change the works" proved again its timeless veracity. With the advent of Bloglines, one need not fear burdening the bustling reader with the nuisance of recurring check and recheck. Rather, one can write and muse as one sees fit, and trust that those interested parties will be, when occasion provides, informed and offered the opportunity to join through their reading in the act of criticism.

And today's post by Jack merits a strong huzzah. The time of our absence has seen a subtle but important shift in Clinomania. Jack has found himself, and found his voice. No more prattle masked behind tiresome half-puppets of his own devising. What is striking about today's post, "Sandwich Makers of Soho," and indeed many recent posts, is that they're REAL. They feel, smell, practically taste as though they're coming from a real place. Jack follows the SS of writing: Specify. Simplify. Give the reader the detail that matters. Posit scenarios that call to light the absurdity of alternatives.

It's a small problem, this red pepper issue. No one of sense would argue the point. But it's not an UNSERIOUS problem. It is a reflection of sloppiness, of overenthusiasm, of insensate lust for novelty. And all of these are real problems, problems that reflect the missteps of modern (one shudders to say "postmodern") society.

Jack takes the small - too many red peppers on a sandwich - and makes us see how it reflects on the big. It's a buffoon who complains excessively of a sandwich. But it's a man of taste, a man of refinement, a man of understanding who realizes that carelessness in sandwichmaking is one of the small things, the mild turns down the road towards a frothy world devoid of attention. The small details matter, and losing them costs us something. The world won't go to hell over a sandwich. But a world where no one understands the smudging of our culture that comes with sloppy sandwiches has taken a small turn towards hellishness. And too many small turns, uncorrected, and things have gone to pieces.

It's a conservative argument, at its core. An argument for standards, and expectations. It's the same instinct, felt but perhaps not articulated, that makes "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" a bestseller, or "Manners maketh man" a resonant phrase.

Look sharp, sandwich-eaters, says Jack. Keep a watch out, for the scribbles on the wall that in themselves are nothing, but together signal the end of Caesar.
posted by SC  # 12:56 PM
Thank you, SC, I think you follow the SS, too.
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